In commemoration of International Human Rights Day and celebration of Human Rights Week, BIEN presses the call that workers’ rights are human rights and that the right to self-organization and trade unionism is integral to the exercise and enjoyment of human rights.
The group cited that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created on December 19, 1948 as a milestone document that sets out the human rights framework and principles of fundamental rights and freedoms that every human being is entitled to. Article 23 of UDHR states:
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
BIEN joins the global day of action for trade union rights in the Philippines organized by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The group also reiterates its call that exercising trade union rights is not a crime. Unionism is not terrorism. BIEN continues the call to drop all charges slapped against Mary Anne Krueger, BIEN organizer in Bacolod who was illegaly arrested in aid of faulty search warrant and on the basis of planted evidence. The criminalization and illegal arrests of trade unionists, such as the glaring case of Krueger, mirrors the heightening trade union repression in the country.
The defense of workers’ rights is closely connected to the principles of defending human rights and for the realization of the dignity of work. If the dignity of work is to be respected, therefore workers’ rights must be respected, the group averred.#